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Sony cancels PAX East attendance over coronavirus concerns

Sony is the only company to pull out so far, cancelling the first public showing for The Last of Us Part 2

PAX East 2017 show floor photo Charlie Hall/Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Sony will no longer be participating at PAX East in Boston this year, due to concerns related to COVID-19, 2020’s novel coronavirus.

The company’s original PlayStation Blog post that detailed the games the company would be bringing to the event has now been updated to announce their withdrawal from the convention.

“Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as ‘novel coronavirus’). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern,” the post read.

PAX organizers have since updated the PAX East website confirming that the convention is still going to happen, but it “will take place as scheduled with enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID-19 virus.”

Sony was originally going to bring upcoming titles like The Last of Us Part 2, Nioh 2, and Doom Eternal, which fans could sign up to play using the Experience PlayStation mobile app. This event was also scheduled to be the first public showing for The Last of Us Part 2.

“Although we know this makes the wait until May 29 a bit harder, we appreciate your understanding,” The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog said on Twitter. “Don’t worry, we’ll have more to share closer to launch.”

Polygon has reached out to both Sony and PAX organizers for comment. When reached for comment, PAX organizers referred Polygon to its blog post.